Moving in Stereo, Volume 8
as heard by darren paltrowitz
When I wrote Volume 7 of Moving In Stereo, I'd recently returned from Milwaukee's Summerfest for a few weeks and was back into my hurry-up-and-wait routine. Well, within two weeks of that, I landed a worthwhile full-time job, registered for a Masters program, and decided that I'd be moving to another part of Long Island. So with that said - and a five-day trip to Japan scheduled in the middle of the month - it's going to be a busy September; thus, I will be going on hiatus for one month. But enough about myself...
...From The Stereo
When it comes to bands that have achieved both critical and commercial success, few have also had the originality of Cake. Pressure Chief, the California quintet's fifth full-length, may be short in length but it's not lacking in quality. Even if the lyrical themes seem to be more cynical than ever - personal politics are certainly not hidden this time around -- the wit of John McCrea is still apparent...Another group with a distinct sound is The Presidents Of The United States Of America, whose Love Everybody makes for some fun listening. Released through the trio's own label, first single "Some Postman" has received a lot of airplay throughout the Washington State act's homeland. Now if only they'd finally put out the Subset album that the three did with Sir Mix-A-Lot...Speaking of recorded backlog, after more than a year of sitting around, the self-titled disc from Maplewood is finally seeing the light of day this fall. Featuring members of Champale, Koester and Nada Surf, the band proudly goes where few Brooklyn-based acts dare to go: into 1970's-era folk-rock territory. Fans of Bread, CSNY and America should be enamored with Maplewood's 13 recorded selections, but those seeing this as a gimmick should also note the participation of Sparklehorse's Alan Weatherhead on pedal-steel guitar.
...From The Screen
Far from your typical musical-comedian and playing more theatres nowadays than comedy clubs, Stephen Lynch has a new live DVD out. Capturing an enthusiastic show, Live At The El Rey will provide something new for even the most hardcore of fans, as in addition to a well-executed live show, early footage and unreleased songs are included. Those craving more from the Michigan native will be able to see more as Lynch embarks on a Fall tour with Mitch Hedburg...While on the topic of Michigan folks doing well, The Michigan Independent is a 50-minute documentary chronicling Michigan's independent music community with interviews and performance footage. Featuring "musicians, record labels, writers, promoters, photographers, designers and activists," watching this DVD ought to inspire you into to take a stand against force-fed culture. Even if you don't find yourself inspired, you'll certainly find yourself entertained.
...From The Ex's
Comprised of ex-members of Rival Schools, 2 Skinnee J's and Bluetip, Cardia is a NYC-based band with a lot of collective experience under its belt. Stylistically within the space-pop genre - surprising in considering the backgrounds of its lineup - Cardia is currently seeking a home for its second full-length. Word is that "Down Here" is a must-hear...Linus Of Hollywood is in the midst of recording a third solo effort, but the former Size 14 frontman has logged a lot of time collaborating with other artists. Presently experiencing success in the U.K. from his work with Tim Burgess and The Charlatans U.K., Linus also has the music of Kool Keith, Misteeq and Jennifer Lopez on his resume. 2005 should also be seeing more releases on his very own Frankin Castle label.
...From The Stage
When it comes to bands that have been wrongfully under the radar, I frequently think of theSTART. With members playing in Snot and Human Waste Project before inking its first of three record deals, tours have been logged with everyone from Weezer and Sugar Ray to The Used and Alkaline Trio. Now on Nitro Records and with a new rhythm section backing Aimee Echo and Jamie Miller, theSTART came to The Downtown in support of Initiation. Playing a short set as openers for Tripside, the performance hit high points with "The 1234" and "Shakedown!" with the audience chanting "Hey!" at all the right points of the latter...Hip-hop isn't often my genre of choice, but at this year's Warped Tour, I was blown away by an MC named Astronautalis. In addition to some funny, smart and catchy "jams," the Dallas-representing rapper performed a mind-blowing feat by asking audience members to name topics of interest, with which he'd merge together into freestyles. Seeing as friends of mine made suggestions, this was obviously not a farce but rather a true sign of talent...On the opposite end of the Warped spectrum were The River City Rebels, who seem to have dropped ska and Rancid-inspired punk rock for a New York Dolls-esque brand of by-the-basics-rock. Perhaps the change in sound isn't all that coincidental since Hate To Be Loved, their latest from the studio, was produced by Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain, but the Rebels have truly elevated themselves into a must-see live act ...Following the likes of Slow Coming Day and the newly-signed Gatsby's American Dream, As Tall As Lions closed a Saturday matinee at The Continental with now-former Slow Coming Day bassist Randy Schulte filling in the position now filled by Julio Tavarez. Opening with "Break Blossom" and ending with "96 Heartbeats," ATAL played a Lafcadio-filled slot that was full of enjoyable banter. Those on the East Coast will be able to see the Triple Crown recording artists out with Anadivine for the next few weeks; a date alongside Boys Night Out and From Autumn To Ashes at Skatefest in the midst of that.
If you have news to report for the next edition of Moving In Stereo, press releases and all other correspondence for Darren should be sent to ASellOut@aol.com.
Copyright 2004 - Column used with permission from Darren Paltrowitz. All right reserved.